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MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary

18 July 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - The following report is a collection of market summaries from the previous week across Australia's territories from analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

South Australia

Supply eases

Total SA cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, declined 35 per cent week-on-week, to 1,898 head. Numbers at the SA Livestock Exchange again increased, up 22 per cent to 471 head, however this was more than offset by reductions in throughput at Mount Gambier and Naracoorte, back 53 per cent and 32 per cent to 679 head and 748 head, respectively.

Demand strong at SA Livestock Exchange

Quality continued to be mixed at Naracoorte and Mount Gambier this week, however the SA Livestock Exchange yarded mostly very good quality cattle.

Analyst at Meat and Livestock Australia reported strong competition from all sectors at the SA Livestock Exchange, particularly on the supplementary fed young cattle, but demand eased at both Naracoorte and Mount Gambier on the back of lower quality. Restockers were reportedly quite active at Mount Gambier, taking advantage of lower prices to secure their replacements.

Prices mostly lower

Medium weight C2 vealer steers to feeder buyers were unchanged to average 189¢ this week, while the heavy weight C3’s to processors lifted 6¢ to 210¢/kg. Medium C2 vealer heifers to feeders were firm on 182¢ and the heavy C3’s to slaughter slipped 16¢ to average 190¢/kg.

Medium weight C2 yearling steers to feeders and restockers eased 5¢ to 8¢, averaging around 175¢, while heavy C3’s were purchased by processors at prices 5¢ dearer, averaging 195¢/kg. Yearling heifers were well supplied and medium weight C3’s to the trade lifted 10¢ to 187¢, although their heavy weight equivalents were back 5¢ to average 178¢/kg.

The small number of grown steers and bullocks penned met limited demand from processors and prices generally eased 6¢ to 7¢, with the 3 scores averaging around 185¢, while light D3 grown heifers were 8¢ lower on 154¢/kg.

Heavy D2 beef cows slipped 11¢ to 126¢, while the D3 and 4 score lots were firm to 2¢ dearer and averaged in the high 130¢/kg range. A fair supply of light weight C2 pastoral bulls met keen demand from restockers at the SA Livestock Exchange, and these topped at 166¢ before averaging 147¢/kg.

Victoria

Supply slips

Total Victorian cattle yardings, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, eased 22 per cent week-on-week, to just under 10,000 head. The Gippsland markets all showed strong declines in supply, with Bairnsdale more than halving to 388 head, while throughput at Leongatha and Pakenham eased to 1,307 and 1,482 head, respectively.

Yardings at Shepparton slipped 8 per cent, to 1,850 head, while throughput at Wodonga was 9 per cent lower on 2,880 head. Supply at Warrnambool decreased to 800 head, while Ballarat offered only 195 head. Supply at Camperdown and Colac increased, to 678 head and 335 head, respectively.

Typical winter quality

Quality across all markets this week was typical of a winter yarding, with reports of mostly plain to average quality cattle offered. Restocker buyers were active at Ballarat and Wodonga. Supplementary fed lines of trade cattle were in limited supply at Shepparton, however those that were yarded sold to the best demand. Some buyers did not operate at Wodonga due to some good rainfall in the central west of NSW.

There were again limited supplies of grown cattle at most markets, and at times they struggled to attract suitable competition. There were several drafts of well covered, large framed dairy cows at Shepparton, which sold at strong prices.

Prices mostly decrease

Heavy weight B2 vealer steers to slaughter were 9¢ cheaper on 210¢, while heavy weight vealer heifers to slaughter eased 15¢ to 190.7¢/kg. Heavy weight C2 yearling steers to feed were 9¢ cheaper on 185.3¢, while those to slaughter decreased 3¢ to 199.8¢/kg. Medium weight D3 yearling heifers to slaughter slipped 6¢ to 169.5¢, while heavy weight C3 lines to slaughter eased 10¢ to 181.2¢/kg.

Heavy weight C3 grown steers to slaughter decreased 7¢ to 190.6¢, while bullocks to slaughter lost 6¢ to 190.6¢/kg. Medium weight grown heifers to slaughter lifted 8¢ to 150.5¢, although the heavier weights slipped 4¢ to average 169.3¢/kg. Heavy weight D3 and D4 cows to slaughter increased 4¢ to average in price from 142.9¢ to 147.4¢, while D3 dairy lines were 2¢ dearer to settle on 137.2¢/kg.

Queensland

Fewer numbers at Roma cause overall supply to ease

Overall Queensland cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, declined 12 per cent week-on-week, totalling 15, 624 head. This was largely the result of numbers at Roma Store returning to normal following a fortnight of very large sales, back 25 per cent to 7,000 head, while Roma Prime yarded 15 per cent fewer cattle for a total of 555 head.

Supply at Dalby was unchanged at 4,814 head, while the continued cold, dry weather saw numbers increase 8 per cent to 1,405 at Warwick. Consignments at Toowoomba Elders and Toowoomba Landmark were 11 per cent and 13 per cent higher, penning 990 and 860 head, respectively.

Lightweight cattle supplies exceed demand

Quality was generally mixed, with the wintery conditions being reflected in the quality of Warwick’s offering, particularly the cow section. Large supplies of young lightweight cattle met limited demand at both Toowoomba sales and Warwick this week, however medium and heavy weights to feeders sold to keen inquiry, as was the case at Roma Store with extra feedlot buyers in the competition. Buyer selectivity, however, saw overall prices generally ease across most categories.

At Dalby, strong restocker and export processor support assisted sales of plainer 2 and 3 score cows, while extra processor competition at Roma Prime resulted in spirited bidding on cows and heavy bulls.

Young cattle prices ease

Calves weighing over 80kg sold to restockers at prices up to 27¢ higher, with the average ranging between 124¢ and 158¢/kg. Medium weight C2 vealer steers to feeders 19¢ lower on 155¢, while light C2 vealer heifers to both feeder and processor buyers eased by up to 13¢ and averaged around 130¢/kg.

Light weight 2 score yearling steers were represented a large percentage of overall supply and averaged 3¢ to 5¢ cheaper, with the C2’s returning to the paddock at 183¢ and the D2’s settling on 150¢/kg. Light D2 yearling heifers, also to restock, eased 7¢ to average 135¢, while medium weights D3 lines to feeders lost 3¢ to 149¢/kg.

Grown steers, heifers and bullocks were in limited numbers and the D3 heavy steers to slaughter sold 12¢ cheaper on 243¢, while the D4’s lifted 11¢ to 157¢/kg. Medium weight D2 beef cows were purchased by processors at prices 5¢ lower week-on-week, averaging 87¢, while the D3’s gained 4¢ to 110¢/kg. The good heavy cows averaged 3¢ to 6¢ better, topping at 148¢/kg.

New South Wales

Numbers slip

Overall consignments slipped 7 per cent for a total of 22,088 cattle offered at MLA’s NLRS reported markets this week. Wagga penned increased numbers compared to the expected draw, to total 4,700 head, as Forbes yarded 2,070 head, a decrease of 14 per cent week-on-week. Tamworth penned similar numbers, for a total of 1,850 head, while CTLX slipped 24 per cent to yard 2,620 cattle. Gunnedah offered 1.160 head, decreasing 20 per cent week-on-week.

The Hunter markets of Scone and Singleton both trended higher in numbers, as Scone increased by 16 per cent, with 1,334 yarded, and Singleton offered an extra 7 per cent for 780 in total. The northern market of Casino more than halved its consignments, while Inverell and Armidale lifted 17 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively. Useful rainfall around the Dubbo region caused numbers to reduce by 19 per cent, for a total of 3,950 head.

Quality remains mixed

The majority of the younger cattle sold went to restocker and lot feeder orders, as prime younger drafts were limited in supply, although quality did lift at Forbes. Some younger cattle at Wagga were affected by the wintery conditions, while CTLX offered good runs of crop and supplementary fed yearlings. The younger steers totalled 6,393 head, while the heifer portion settled on 5,700 in total. Cows again made up the bulk of the grown cattle sold throughout NSW to total 4,047 head.

Restocker demand weakens

The younger vealer steers returning to the paddock lost 13¢ to average 167¢, after topping at 208¢/kg. The medium weight heifer portion to the trade and restockers slipped 5¢ to 12¢/kg. Prime heavy weight vealers to butchers topped at 222¢/kg. Light weight yearling steers struggled in the competition, as lot feeders maintained solid prices for the medium and heavy weights. Yearling heifers to the lot feeder and restocker orders trended cheaper by 2¢ to 3¢, as the prime conditioned yearlings to the butchers and processors maintained firm prices to range from 146¢ to 215¢/kg.

Heavy weight grown steers to slaughter sold close to firm, with age causing some price variations. Cows sold dearer, as the better end averaged from 115¢ to 138¢, with the best reaching 159¢/kg. Heavyweight bulls also trended dearer week-on-week, to average from 157¢ to 173¢, after reaching a top price of 196¢/kg.

Western Australia

Supplies continue to fall in the west

WA cattle yardings, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, eased 36 per cent week-on-week, to 1,499 head. Great Southern yarded similar numbers to the previous week, with 385 head penned in total. Muchea’s consignments decreased 45 per cent, to 1,114 head.

Limited pastoral cattle

Pastoral cattle supplies at Muchea dropped considerably, with heifers again dominating the yarding. Light, plain drafts tended to be bought by restockers. There was a significant increase in local trade weight cattle at Muchea, with a large consignment from one producer. There were no supplementary finished lots yarded at Great Southern. Competition on the better quality, limited selection of cows was strong at both markets, in particular at Great Southern were a processor returned to the buying panel.

Cow prices improve

Light weight D1 pastoral yearling steers eased 5¢ to 154.2¢, while heavier weights to feed averaged 228.5¢/kg. Light weight D1 pastoral yearling heifers gained 1¢ to 113¢, while heavier C3 lines to slaughter eased 20¢ to average 235¢/kg.

Medium weight D2 pastoral grown steers increased 26¢ to 175.2¢, while medium weight D2 pastoral grown heifers slipped 7¢ to 131¢/kg. Medium weight D2 pastoral cows gained 13¢ to 153.5¢, while those to slaughter increased 6¢ to 149.2¢/kg. Heavy weight D3 cows to slaughter lifted 9¢ to 163.2¢, while light weight D1 pastoral bulls were 14¢ dearer on 145¢/k

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